War is Boring: New Fighting Dashes Peace Hopes for Central Africa

War is Boring: New Fighting Dashes Peace Hopes for Central Africa

A fresh round of fighting near the town of Abeche, in eastern Chad, has claimed the lives of 225 rebels and 22 government troops, according to the Chadian government. The violence is a fixture of life in this dusty desert outpost just 50 miles from Sudan's embattled Darfur province, and has complicated delicate efforts by regional and world bodies to build a framework for a lasting peace, as well as to care for hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons.

"A column of mercenaries in the pay of the regime in Khartoum, comprising more than 400 heavily armed vehicles, entered Chadian territory on Monday, May 4," President Idriss Déby told lawmakers the same day. "Fierce clashes between the Chadian security forces and mercenaries began at 11:00 a.m. [on May 7] . . . and ended after 13 hours, resulting in a crushing defeat of the mercenaries."

As a consequence of the fighting, Chad said it would halt initiatives to restore diplomatic ties with Sudan. The two nations broke off relations last year after Chad blamed Sudan for a rebel attack -- the third in as many years -- on the capital of N'Djamena. "I say enough is enough," Déby said.

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